Thank you for taking an interest in working with me.
To make things clearer and easier before you contact me, please read the following carefully.
Quick jump to sections: Masters and undergraduate guided thesis / Post-docs, postgraduate, graduate students, and visiting students / Research assistants / Research internships / Joining CORE team / Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Who is this for?
The openings are for University of Hong Kong undergraduate or masters students pursuing a thesis. Specifically, this is for those taking guided thesis courses PSYC7308 in masters and PSYC4008 for undergraduates.
Please understand that there are far more students approaching me than I can ever supervise, and so I might not be able to guide you. Fit is important, which is why when you contact me it is important that you do your homework about me and the type of projects I do, think about the implications of working with me, and then communicate to me clearly why you think we should work together. More on that below.
NOTE #1: I currently only do very specific types of thesis projects. These are very different from what other faculty are doing in the department.
NOTE #2: Since 2021-2 I have been running all student thesis projects as PCI-RR journal submissions.
In 2021-2 I had 9 thesis students, and 8 of those students received Stage 1 in-principle acceptance.
In 2022-3 I had 6 thesis students, and 5 of those students received Stage 1 in-principle acceptance.
This means all those were accepted for publication regardless of the study outcomes. Students have been successful in working with me and getting their thesis project accepted to a journal after peer review, meeting the highest standards in our field.
What does this mean? How does this work? In the following video (LMU Munich 2023) I explain what Registered Reports are, what PCIRR is, and our setup briefly:
The most important is our guide. It includes testimonials, examples, the whole process, and many links.
Please carefully my Guided Thesis/Lab guide.
What does this mean?
- You/We do real hands-on publishable science.
- You/We get our work reviewed by the community and published in peer-reviewed journals. We contribute to the community, we get support from the community.
- You/We meet the highest standards of rigor, transparency, and open science practices (pre-registrations, open peer review, sharing all materials/data/code).
- This project is ambitious and demanding.
- This project goes above and beyond anyone else at HKU is doing with UG and MSc at HKU.
- This will be the most important and impactful work you’ve done in your studies. Through this you will understand science and the scientific process much better, and will likely be able to contribute more to (and be more attractive to) whatever you choose to do in your next step, either industry, non-profit, or studies/academia.
Contacting me about working with me
When you contact me, please copy-paste the following list to your email and answer 1 by 1:
- As a student working with me, you will be my collaborator.
Please read what I expect of my collaborations, especially the last section about collaborations with students.
Indicate that you’ve read and understood that.
- Indicate that you have read, understood, and accept all the content on this page, especially the “my basic expectations of you”.
- Indicate that you understand and accept that your thesis will be conducted as a Registered Report and submitted to expert peer review process to Peer Community in Registered Reports (PCI-RR; read the lab guide for more details, everything is explained there in detail with examples from previous year).
- Indicate that you broadly understand what Registered Reports are.
- Indicate that you broadly understand the process of conducting the thesis as a PCI-RR.
- Indicate that you understand and accept the goal of meeting the publication standards of PCI-RR.
- Indicate your first/native language (Cantonese, Mandarin, English, or any other language if international student).
- indicate your majors and minors.
- Rate your familiarity with open-science, replications, and pre-registration procedures (0 – none; 10 – expert).
- Rate your general familiarity with heuristics and biases (0 – none; 10 – expert).
- Rate your general familiarity with R/Rmarkdown.
- Only if you’re not familiar with R/Rmarkdown, rate your familiarity with JAMOVI (0 – none; 10 – expert).
- Add an open-science statement (one paragraph max) to help me see that we share the same mindset on this important topic.
- Briefly go over the list of planned replications and see if any of those are of interest to you. When you contact me, please indicate two or three replications that you would like to work on.
- Attach a brief Curriculum Vitae, resume, or something that would help me know something about you.
- Please provide your GPA, and if possible – specific grades in psychology and statistics.
- If you’ve taken a course with me previously or spoke to me somewhere at some point, please also attach a photo which would help me remember who you are (apologies, I’m pretty bad with Cantonese and Mandarin names, which makes generally bad memory for names even worse). If you have an English nickname, that might help me, please do share your nickname with me.
If you have questions of concerns, this will be the right time to bring those up.
My basic expectations of you
- A person with an independent and open mindset, an honest and serious working style. I also appreciate a straightforward, direct, and responsive communication style.
- You are fluent in English, both speaking and writing.
- You support open-science.
- You are either proficient in R/RStudio, or with some familiarity with R/RStudio (or JAMOVI at the very least), and the willingness to become proficient in R/RStudio. If you’re only proficient with SPSS/STATA/SAS, then that you are willing to put those behind and fully transition to R/RStudio. I will help you with that, and it will serve you well in the job market, I assure you.
- Your thesis project will aim to meet the highest standards in our field, and that will require serious, dedicated, and careful work. A common misconception is that replications are ‘easy’ and replications are often undervalued, but nothing is further from the truth. My experience is that replications require extremely serious and careful work, addressing issues, sensitives, and possibilities in the original work being replicated. If done well, replications have the impact and article publishing potential of original research.
- You are committed to trying your very best to aim your thesis at meeting the publication standards of PCI-RR.
- I take research projects very seriously and will invest time and effort on my part to help you succeed. I do expect your utmost dedication to your thesis and meeting its goals. If you are committed to this, then I will be committed to helping you make the most of this experience by aiming to complete the thesis leading to a co-authored article submission together.
- I will advise you, and provide you with links and resources, but it will still require much independent learning on your part to meet the standards and rigor of open-science.
- I will expect that you push yourself and set your own ambitious schedule. I will not manage you or urge you, so progress will depend on you pushing things forward.
Post-docs, postgraduate, graduate students, and visiting students
Thank you, but I am currently not looking for and have no funding for post-docs, postgraduate, graduate, or visiting students.
Thank you, but I am currently not looking for research assistants.
Thank you, but I am currently not looking for research interns.
Joining CORE team
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Working with me as a PhD student
I am interested in pursuing a PhD in the field of clinical/positive/cognitive/educational/pathology/stress psychology and want to work with you.
I’m afraid these are very far from my own expertise and research interests, you’d want to contact a professor who does research in those fields. Even within social psychology, my research interests and methods are very narrow, and all are very clearly detailed and explained on my website and your can get a sense of some of that from my publications.
I have this really great idea and/or I have this research question I am interested in that is related to your field and research interests.
I have a great research proposal that I want you to read, see attached.
It’s great that you already formed some idea of what you’re passionate about, but I am afraid I don’t work with students in this way. My work with students is very structured and takes a step-by-step approach. Please see https://mgto.org/working-with-me/
Also, I apologize. As much as I’d like to, I do not have the time to go over research proposals and/or discuss your research with you. If you wish to work with me, we will need to start off with the premise that you’ll first join me in my journey and gain knowledge and skills in my research directions. In time, as we form trust and collaboration, I am very much in favor of proactive students taking the lead and I am very excited to learn from/with you in directions you wish to explore.
It’d be great if we would talk more on how my research interest could be translated into concrete research plan, especially if that fits into your research/supervision areas.
When it comes to my personal preferences, I don’t think a research plan is needed, although I know that some unis and schools ask for something. When I was doing my PhD, I had 2 years of courses and qualifying exams to figure it out. Can’t imagine how departments would expect students to know anything concrete before they understand the fundamentals of science and the literature.
Studying in Hong Kong
However, I am unsure whether or not your university offers the option of a PhD via thesis only, and I was wondering whether I could come and discuss these matters with you?
About administrative questions regarding options you’d want to contact the university’s psychology department office or the university’s admissions office, I’m honestly not sure. All I can do here is to refer you to the university and department’s websites.
Can you advise about PhD opportunities in Hong Kong?
Great that you’re considering a PhD in Hong Kong. Beginning of each December there is a deadline for the HK PhD fellowship. You might want to consider that for next year. More info here:
Generally in Hong Kong: https://cerg1.ugc.edu.hk/hkpfs/index.html
At University of Hong Kong: https://www.gradsch.hku.hk/gradsch/prospective-students/scholarship-funding-and-fees
If I want to do social psychology or JDM in Hong Kong, what are my options?
You’d want to consider which universities to apply to in Hong Kong and whether you’d rather be at a psychology department (there are 2, maybe 3 of those, with limited scholars in social psychology), or a business school (either marketing or management, these are almost in all universities). Then, depending on what you end up wanting to do and focus on, can think who in Hong Kong who has funding and is looking for PhD students might be relevant.
JDM research in Hong Kong is mostly at the business school, and there are quite a few options, once you start digging deep. They do, however, work differently than psychology departments do.
Here are other JDM options to consider in Hong Kong.